Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) sent a letter to Likud ministers asking them to vote against the planned release of 104 terrorist prisoners as a “gesture” in advance of “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority.
"I call on you to vote against the release of prisoners, but in favor of the negotiations, without preconditions,” he wrote.
"I am sure each one of you knows that there is a consensus within Likud in opposition to the lunacy of releasing dozens of terrorists who have the blood of hundreds of Israelis on their hands,” he explained. “What is more – the release is a prize for the Palestinians, just for their willingness to sit with us next to the negotiating table.”
"This defines future standards of far-reaching concessions by Israel, vis-a-vis ridiculous demands by the other side,” said Danon.
He ended the letter with a reference to a prisoner who is not being released, writing, “One more word, which should also evoke some thoughts on the subject, in your mind: Pollard.”
Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying on the U.S. for Israel, was arrested in 1985 and has been in jail ever since. Netanyahu reportedly asked the U.S. to release him as part of a package deal including the resumption of talks with the PA, but was rebuffed.